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By James Templeton
Have you ever gone shopping at the grocery store and looked in other people’s baskets to see what they’re buying? Or decided whether you want to eat at a restaurant by looking at the health of the people leaving? I have. I’m concerned for the health of my friends and neighbors – I want you to feel as good as I do. As a 30-year cancer survivor, I know what an impact good nutrition has had on my health. After years of looking at what other people eat as compared to the state of their health, I’m convinced it’s a big key to real, lasting good health.
My chiropractor friend used to be a mortician, and he told me people eat so many preservatives in processed foods these days, their bodies are already preserved when they get to the funeral home! Think about what that means – the cells in these bodies are so full of toxins, they aren’t turning over and creating energy, they’re stuck in a chemical soup from the processed foods they can’t use or eliminate.
Most folks live such busy and stressful lives it’s easiest just to grab something quick and worry about nutrition later. It’s not always quick, easy or convenient to learn key nutrition concepts and apply them to our own lives. But it is important. Maybe you need more energy, want to lose weight, or need to use nutrition to heal disease. It’s not too late to start. Let’s talk about real food, a big key to real health.
In my story, I talked about how I chose Macrobiotics as part of my healing from Melanoma cancer (read my story here). I don’t expect everyone reading this needs or wants a diet change this drastic. And as I’ve said before, the diet that got me well isn’t the diet that keeps me well. Through a lot of research and help from trusted experts, I’ve found these are the keys to a diet that maintains good health for the long haul:
Eliminate processed foods and sugar. When they do a PET scan to look for cancer in the body, they are actually injecting glucose, because cancer cells take up sugar at a faster rate than the rest of the cells in the body. Cancer feeds on sugar, and in 2006 it was found the average American eats 180 pounds of sugar per year! It’s in sodas, sweet tea, sports drinks and your favorite desserts, but it’s also hiding in most processed foods. Get it all out and eliminate a big contributor to most major diseases we face today.
Eat locally grown organic food as much as possible. Food that isn’t organic is often genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides and herbicides like glyphosate, which are known to cause cancer. Your liver has to process all the chemicals we come in contact with in our toxic world, and it’s a tough job. Clean organic food takes some of the load off the liver so it can do its job more effectively and clear toxins from the body so your cells can create energy.
Reduce or eliminate meat, grains and dairy. I believe vegetarian diets can be healing and cleansing for a short time, but some animal protein is needed over the long term. I like fish but eat only small amounts because of mercury contamination. Omega 3 eggs, organic turkey, free-range chicken and grass-fed beef and bison are all good choices for the small amounts of lean protein we need in our diets. Less grain is better, because it typically contains mycotoxins that fuel fungus and yeast. Nut flours are a good, high protein substitute for grains in baking. I believe most dairy foods should be eliminated because of allergy, intolerance and mucus issues. Grass-fed butter, ghee, and good quality fermented dairy products are the best choices if dairy is in the diet.
Eat a lot of vegetables, especially dark leafy greens. This seems to be pretty universal advice, you read everywhere about the positive health effects of a diet high in vegetables. I used to eat a lot of salads, because I thought this was the best thing I could do for my health. Then I learned about parasites on raw foods, and now eat most of my vegetables lightly cooked. Our Daily Greens Formula really gives me good energy, so I make it point to take it every day, too.
Eat low glycemic fruits for an occasional treat. I’m not a huge fan of fruit because it also fuels yeast and fungus. (I will talk about the role of yeast and fungus in disease in a future post.) Low glycemic fruits like blueberries don’t spike blood sugar, so I enjoy them as a sweet treat on occasion.
Replace coffee, soda, milk and juice with herbal teas and a lot of filtered water. You pay for that quick caffeine pick-me-up down the road with health issues from stressed adrenal glands. And caffeine actually dehydrates you, which leads to more of a need for water than you had before you drank that coffee or soda. When you take the fat out of milk, you are basically left with sugar and water, and it’s still mucus-forming and not well tolerated. Juicing fruits and vegetables removes the fiber and leaves you with a lot of sugar, which as I’ve mentioned, feeds cancer, yeast and fungus issues. Water quality is a major issue, and I’ll dig deeper into this in a future post. Lead, chromium 6 (the “Erin Brockovich” chemical), fluoride and even parasites are all common contaminants in our water supply today, among others. A lot of good quality filtered water with trace minerals added in is essential for good health.
This might seem overwhelming and hard to follow if you are just starting to look at making changes to your diet. If you are someone who needs structure or step-by-step instructions to get started or stay on track, try Ann Louise Gittleman’s Fat Flush Plan. She is very knowledgeable, and has been one of the best influences on my good health for many years now.
As someone who has followed some pretty strict dietary guidelines for the past 30 years, I can tell you it’s not always easy. Life gets busy, and I don’t always have the time to spend in the kitchen that I’d like to. Or I spend a lot of time travelling and don’t have access to all the healthy foods I eat at home. Once good health is established, I tell people, “Enjoy life, but always keep one foot on the path to health.” For me this means staying on my supplements, and if I wander off the diet that I know keeps me healthy, I take the steps I need to get right back on it.